Dream Locally, Act Thoughtfully

18 Oct 2004
October 18, 2004

Last night I dreamed my next-door neighbor knocked on my door. After a few days he had cooled down and wanted to talk. I listened to him as he explained his opinions and when he was done I said this:

M, look around you. Since the vandalizing of our signs and since you yelled at me your house is almost completely surrounded by neighbors with Kerry posters in their front yards. No matter who is elected in two weeks, you will have to live with us (and we you) for much longer than a presidential term. Is this how you want to live?

Your neighbors core beliefs differ widely from your own. But you have not been chastised for your views. In fact, the First Amendment is alive and well here. All of us respect your right to voice your opinion. I know this because I have spoken to our neighbors about what happened between us.

Interestingly, we share a concern for the future. The world we lived in is not the same as it was when we were young. And I can assure you Susie and I think seriously about the country we are holding in trust for our children. We are as concerned about the society they will inherit as you and your wife are.

That being said, I expect the same respect for our beliefs as we are willing to give to yours. These are the things worth fighting for. John Kerry and George Bush are only avatars for our Constitution and the culture that has developed from it. They represent us and the differences between us. Yet, they will never share this neighborhood and our daily lives here. What happens on this street is our responsibility.

Look around you, M. What do you really see?

When I was finished, M looked at me for a minute without saying anything. Then he walked away. I didn’t know what he thought.

• • •

In reality, Kerry signs are indeed all around his house now. According to the county Democratic headquarters election posters should be at least 6 feet from the street and posted no earlier than 30 days before an election. I have a call into the county zoning office to confirm that.

Update: According to our county zoning office, you can put up as many temporary political signs as you want anywhere on your property (including the easement next to the curb). They can’t be up more than 30 days and can’t occupy more than 10 square feet in total.

Related Stories:
Living in a Black and Blue Country and A Neighborly Encounter from the Right

2 replies
  1. Donna says:

    It is coming down to the wire. Nader has in his ego-maniacle way today announced a 10 state push, going after swing states and states that might be for Kerry. It isn’t just the next 4 years, it is the rest of our lifetimes with the judges that will be appointed to the high courts – all lost when Nader’s votes go to bush the way they did in 2000 and the electoral college went to bush.
    is planning to get ads out to Nader voters to vote Kerry.
    Tonight I found out that medical insurance may be more important than ever to me. I also found out we may lose ours next year. I need Kerry more than ever. If I wasn’t sick now I would get on a plane tomorrow and work a swing state. Meanwhile I’ll do what I can from my computer.
    Call advertisers for the Sinclair forced broadcast and politely let them know your politics:
    Circuit City (_National)
    IAMS Pet Food (Dayton)
    U.S. Cellular (_National)
    Sinclair’s stock is dropping.

  2. Ray says:

    That’s a very interesting dream. And it does bring up a good point. How no matter who is elected, we will still have the same neighbors, same job, same life, etc. I suppose if we don’t like the direction the country is going, it all starts at home. Then our neighbors, friends, etc.
    Politics are important because the elected officials define policy, but does anyone agree with me that to really make a difference we should be more concerned with those around us? We may not change the world, but we can make the difference in one person’s life.

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